Newsletter - 2009 Archive

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This was Ken's last communication back to the BCR web site bunker as he drove to the start of Gold Rush Randonnee 2009. I'm reading this only now, but as many of you will already know Ken finished yesterday (July 9), co-3rd finisher (I think) in 62:40. Anyway, here are his always-interesting pre-ride thoughts. [Eric F]

Ken's Pre-GRR message
by Ken Bonner

I drove the route backwards from the turnaround at Davis Creek to Susanville today. About 30 C at mid-day, but cooler between Adin and Susanville at 5000 feet and just after a rainstorm --temp. dropped to 23C then back to 30C in Susanville. Temps. should be much cooler when we start the ride.

One of the things I forgot over the past 4 years -- the altitude. About 4200 feet with several climbs up to over 5,000 feet. It is 4200 feet in the valley in Susanville, the summit at the top of the valley heading north is 5200 feet (1200 feet of climbing in 3 miles); a dip into another valley and then a climb up to 5800 feet before descending to Adin at 4200 feet.

Everything is much greener than last time, so they must be having more rain ... even some yellow flowers, I thought they were cactus flowers, but close-up, they look a bit like gigantic dandelions!!

I'll arrive in Davis tomorrow evening. Still trying figure out my strategy for drop-bag contents, sleep and how hard to push it on the bike. A little faster on the bike can make for a dramatic change for what clothing I will need. During the daytime is easy, as little as possible, except if a thundershower hits, the temp drops dramatically.

The 1st time I rode GRR, I was dying in the heat about 20 miles from Adin at 4:30 pm; then a thunder shower struck and I was freezing by the time I got into the control. Ate lots of hot stuff, put on lots of warm clothing and left the control. 10 miles out of town, I had to stop and take off all the clothing I had just put on --- too hot!

Cheers ... Hope you are getting the miles in now that your tendon is more or less healed. Coming over for the Backroads 400?

.... Ken


July 3, 2009

Top photo from the 2009 UIE - Photo by Yataka Moriwaki